Employment Law Update - Introduction of Employment Tribunal Fees

On Monday 29th July 2013 Employment Tribunal fees were introduced bringing in a system whereby claimants who want to bring a claim in the Employment Tribunal will be required to pay a fee to start proceedings. A hearing fee is also payable before the tribunal hearing in the event that the dispute has not been resolved. This is a significant change to the previous system where no fees were payable to bring a claim.

At present it costs tax payers approximately £74 million to maintain the Employment Tribunals and Employment Appeal Tribunal. However, this new system will ensure that some of this cost is paid by those who are actually using the Tribunals.

The fee payable is dependant on the type of claim that is being brought. For claims in relation to unfair dismissal, discrimination, whistle blowing or equal pay (level 1 claims) the issue fee is £250 and the hearing fee is £950. The hearing fee is required between 4-6 weeks before the hearing.

On the other hand, less complicated claims in relation to statutory redundancy pay, payment in lieu of notice and unlawful deduction of wages (level 2 claims) the issue fee is £160, and the hearing fee is £230.

It is likely that the fees will have a positive impact on the number of unmeritorious claims that are brought and therefore will be welcomed by employers. In the current economic climate employers have had an increased number of unmeritorious claims brought against them leaving them with large legal bills after defending a claim.

However, there are also concerns from the perspective of employees who will not have access to justice if they have lost their jobs and are on a low wage. To help those with a limited income, there will be system whereby fees will be waived.

If you are an employer or an employee requiring advice on any of the above or any other employment law issue please do not hesitate to contact a member of our team on 01733 882800.

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This article has been prepared for general interest and information purposes only; it does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied on as such. While all possible care has been taken in the preparation of this article, no responsibility for the accuracy and/or correctness of the information and commentary set out in the article, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed or accepted by the firm or the authors.